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Ducks Confident Heading into Game 7 Friday

Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 1:13 PM PT / News
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Ducks Confident Heading into Game 7 Friday
By Kyle Shohara
AnaheimDucks.com

Though the players expressed their disappointment last night after dropping Game 6 to the Kings at Staples Center, the mood this afternoon after an optional practice was upbeat and relaxed.

The Ducks aren’t sulking in what could’ve been a ticket to the Western Conference Final. It was a reminder of how dangerous the Kings can be when put into an elimination scenario. Remember, they erased a 3-0 deficit in the first round to become just the fourth team in NHL history to win a series in such fashion.

The Ducks say they’re in a different place – a better place – now as opposed to their Game 7 vs. Detroit during last year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. Head coach Bruce Boudreau said they entered that series with an awe factor because of their opponent. “We never thought we were as good as Detroit,” he said. “They had beaten us in three overtime games up to that point, and that experience of going through it will make them better suited for tomorrow.”

Defenseman Ben Lovejoy was a part of that team, and says this current Ducks squad is much more confident. “We’ve grown a lot since then,” he said. “We had another full season to get comfortable with each other. We’re playing a better game right now.

“Going into that series, we weren’t playing our best hockey. This year, we’re a much more confident team. We have some different players in higher profile roles. We’re a very confident team coming into this game tomorrow.”

Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf kept the mood light this afternoon when he crept into Lovejoy’s media scrum pretending to be a reporter, prompting Lovejoy to sheepishly say, “Hi, Ryan.”

Getzlaf is used to pressure-packed games, both in his NHL and international career. Getzlaf says he’ll use those experiences to lead his team through Game 7.

“Everything is amped up and you’re in a do-or-die situation,” he said. “The nerves are going to get to you a little bit, so you’re going to have to control your emotions. I’ve been in a lot of different situations, and I’ve been fortunate to be play in a lot of big games. That’s part of my job, to lead by example in those areas.”

Pundits and fans around the hockey world expected this series to go the distance.

“We figured at the start, it’d be a long series,” said Getzlaf. “But at the end of the day, it’s an exciting time. That first period is going to be important. Our main focus is to make sure everyone is involved.”

“This is exciting,” said Lovejoy. “We’re not pouting in the room. We knew this Kings team wasn’t going to be an easy out. They came out and played a very good game last night. We weren’t able to generate enough of a push.”

Lovejoy says they’ll leave it all on the line tomorrow night. “Last night, we were playing not to make mistakes,” he said. “That hurts us. We’re a team that needs to play an aggressive game. We can’t sit back and play a passive game, which we did last night. The results speak for themselves.”

Forward Andrew Cogliano says the team will, in a sense, throw caution to the wind tomorrow.

“We’re really excited,” he said. “Obviously we were disappointed last night with not closing it out, but we’re in a good spot. This is Game 7. We were down 2-0 in the series, and if someone gave us an option of going to Game 7 at that point, a lot of guys would’ve taken it.

“At the end of the day, you have to seize the moment. We just have to go for it. When you play safe, especially against good teams, you have no chance of winning. When we’ve been successful, especially in the playoffs, we’ve really pushed the issue. There’s nothing to be nervous about.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 13 50 14 63
C. Perry 82 34 28 2 62
R. Kesler 79 21 32 5 53
R. Rakell 72 20 23 -1 43
J. Silfverberg 82 20 19 8 39
S. Vatanen 71 9 29 8 38
A. Cogliano 82 9 23 2 32
H. Lindholm 80 10 18 7 28
C. Fowler 69 5 23 -8 28
C. Stewart 56 8 12 2 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Gibson 21 13 4 .920 2.07
A. Khudobin 3 3 0 .909 2.70

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